A letter from Anne Azéma, Artistic Director
The Boston Camerata's Sixtieth Anniversary Season
Dear Boston Camerata Friends:
To celebrate Camerata's 60 years of music-making and bridge-building, we will be presenting a new season of superlative music across centuries and cultures, including some of our best-loved programs down the decades, as well as brilliant new productions.
We'll be celebrating the kinship of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim music and ritual (The Sacred Bridge); the roots at Christmastime of our own American song (An American Christmas); the incredible voyages of late medieval musicians across the map of Europe (as part of our MIT ground breaking residency); and, as a centerpiece production, the prophecies, tribulations, and triumph of the young Biblical hero Daniel, as retold in music and motion by the students and clerks of medieval Beauvais (Daniel: A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited).
Now is the time to mark your calendars, subscribe (at a discounted rate of 15% until September 15) to our concert series, and make sure you join us to cross these exciting bridges with us.
Looking forward to seeing you in our concert halls.
Anne Azéma and The Boston Camerata team
Daniel: A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited
The prophecies, tribulations, and triumph of the young Biblical hero Daniel, as retold in music from medieval Beauvais. Probably the most powerful and musically evocative of all the medieval mystery plays, in a splendid new production conceived by Anne Azéma.
Puer Natus Est: A Medieval Christmas
Camerata’s chamber music version of this, our best-known holiday program, features three angelic women’s voices and instrumentalists. Our performance presents magnificent medieval song and poetry from the mid-winter celebration of Christ’s nativity, with a look as well at the pagan celebrations of winter solstice. Countries represented include France, England, Italy, Provence, and Germany. This production will include also a distaff choir from Mission Voix Alsace.
An American Christmas
To celebrate our 60th Anniversary, our Christmas program features music from our very own tradition. From the early years of the American republic, and from a wide range of early tune books and manuscripts, a generous selection of carols, New England anthems, Southern folk hymns and religious ballads for the season.
Portes du Ciel (Gates of Heaven):
Spiritual Songs from Medieval France
Close to Reims, the regions of Champagne, Picardy, and Lorraine brought forth an abundant harvest of song in French, both secular and sacred. The subject of “Heaven's Gate” is the magnificent repertoire, composed in both the courtly and popularizing manners, in praise of the Virgin Mary. Noble songs in the refined trouvère style, narrations in word and song, and dance music with sacred texts, are all included in this production. The prior of Vic-sur-Aisne, Gauthier de Coincy (1177/8-1236), a passionate and prolix musician-poet, recounts the miracles of the Virgin that took place in his parish; Thibault de Champagne (1201-1253), count of Champagne and king of Navarra, praises the Queen of Heaven in the most elegant and subtle style; while anonymous minstrels transform the wordly songs of the day into vigorous, toe-tapping spirituals.
Of All the Flowers:
Sacred and Secular Song of the Later Middle Ages
The constantly evolving and inventive musical minds of Italian and French masters during the fourteenth century has left us with repertoires, both sacred and secular, that successfully unite the search for new and different creative paths with astonishing lyricism and sensual beauty. In this specially commissioned program for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you will hear music spanning the worlds of God and Man, by the greatest composers of their day: Machaut, Landini, da Bologna, and others, performed by Camerata's virtuoso soloists and instrumentalists.
The Sacred Bridge
Back by popular demand! An interfaith celebration unlike any other. Discover with us the common musical roots of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and the astonishing and beautiful interactions among these traditions. Our program includes elements of Jewish liturgy, Gregorian and Koranic chant, songs and texts of Jewish minstrels, Sephardic folksong, medieval Spanish Cantigas, and Judaeo-Islamic music from the ancient Andalusian tradition. The Boston Camerata is joined by Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble.
Drawing on the original 13th-century manuscript, The Boston Camerata’s Carmina Burana presents a panoramic portrait of student and clerical life in medieval Europe: paeans to the Goddess Fortune, funny and ferocious critiques of Church and State, earnest meditations on truth and righteousness, and a generous serving of songs about drinking, gambling and amorous adventure. With its usual verve and vivacity, the Camerata gives a deepened, in turn exuberant and contemplative reading of this manuscript, under the direction of vocalist Anne Azéma. Our stellar cast (Anne Azéma, Joel Frederiksen, Tim Evans, voice; Shira Kammen, strings and François Lazarevitch, winds) will be assisted by a conservatory student choir from Paris.
Highlights from the Medieval Carmina Burana
As a prelude to Carl Orff’s extravagant Carmina Burana, Boston Camerata presents a vivacious portrait of student and clerical life in medieval Europe. This joint concert with the Cape Symphony features Anne Azéma, Joel Cohen, Dan Hershey and Taylor Ward.